1. Her dedication to Captain Picard and the Starship: Enterprise
Yes, yes, I know, they were all dedicated to Captain Picard and the ship! You don't have to shout. This article is simply about why I, personally, believe that Deanna Troi was the best part of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I think I can hear the hmms and the mmhmms right now, and I bet there are few pairs of eyes rolling as well. Let's get down to it, though, shall we? If you think you can muster through it.
Deanna Troi was ship's counselor, a position that most wouldn't envy. Her job was to keep a close eye on Captain Picard, the entire crew of the Enterprise, every non-crew member, and any potential adversaries they met along the way. Because she was a Betazoid, this sort of profession came easily to her, or so she said. Keeping your mind focused on that many people all the time would be an excruciating task for anyone, even a telepath. I believe it was her half-human side that really kept her dedicated to what she did, the human need to protect those you love from harm and the desire to always be better than the limitations you feel, would overcome any feelings leaning towards the flamboyant and selfish Betazoid behavior exhibited by her mother.
But it was her close relationship with Picard that has become one of the greatest highlights of the iconic TV show. Captain Picard counted on Troi, more so than most anyone else, to give it to him straight, tell him the things he needed to hear but didn't want to, and to assure him that any fears or doubts he had, could surely be overcome.
2. Her relationship with the rest of the main cast
In particular, with Data. His desire to be more human never ceased Counselor Troi's admiration of him, nor did it stifle her in her attempts to help see himself as more so. Instead of speaking to Data as if he were just another machine, Counselor Troi treated him as if he were never anything less than a full-fledged human being, even going as far as calmly explaining human nature and habits to him in a method he could best understand.
Always supportive of the potential romantic relationship between Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher, Deanna attempted on several occasions to be the comforting best friend that Beverly Crusher so desperately needed when she became too afraid of acting on her feelings, citing the larger potential for Captain Picard's rejection.
Troi never ceased in her attempts to break down the Klingon walls that Worf had put around himself, even going as far as dating him for a time, a liaison that could never last as long as Riker was around. Deanna was able to open up Worf in a time when many others believed it to be an inane gesture, he was a stubborn Klingon, nothing more, best to just let him be. Deanna didn't think so.
Her repertoire with Wesley, Geordi, and Tasha, would undoubtedly go on to have just a great an impact on their lives as it did with her. Her close relationship with Tasha, showcasing the strongest at the moment of Tasha's untimely death, would become an Emmy-worthy performance from Sirtis as she is rendered completely helpless to stop it.
Last but not least, her sordid history with William Riker; a man who's main goals in life, she saw, could never line up with hers. The sheer amount of love and respect the two had for each other shined brighter than any other aboard the Enterprise. It was no surprise to me that they married later on in the film continuation of the series.
3. The Deanna centric episodes
In The Child, viewers were surprised to be granted with a new side to Deanna as a mother. Her conception a mysterious one, but nonetheless produced a beautiful child that encapsulated every bit of love she could give. When he died, in a selfless act to save the Enterprise, Deanna's heart burst and it was almost as if she wouldn't be able to find a way to continue, many of our hearts broke alongside hers.
In the episode Disaster, the crew is subject to a horrific event that cuts off power to most of the ship, leaving the main cast scattered all over the Enterprise without any way to contact one another. Because Deanna is the only Commander remaining onboard the bridge, it is up to her to make the tough and potentially deadly decisions to save the Enterprise and her many, many passengers. In the most trying, edge-of-your-seat, moments, Troi refused to back down on doing what was ever necessary to save the lives of every person on the ship.
You won't find many articles like this one anywhere on the internet. Many fans have a severe dislike of Troi because of "her annoying need to state the obvious all the time" and "she had no dignity". I can see where they're coming from, but unlike those other fans, I don't just choose to see the negative. For me, Deanna's love, compassion, and understanding were a much more prominent and time worthy feature than her cleavage.